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allezfred
07-03-2012, 10:08 AM
And Wylie would probably say that Urmanov had his missteps to but had the better skate on the night.


Urmanov? :confused:

spikydurian
07-03-2012, 12:39 PM
Anything written by PJ Kwong is pro-IJS in the sense that is pro-FS. She's involved in the sport and loves it, and she is the kind of commentator that breathes life into FS, rather than death - like Friedlander or Bianchetti. Those two may believe that FS is dying, but they appear very eager to put the last nail in the coffin.

Totally agree. Yeah for PJ.
Count me in! I enjoy her as a fs commentator as I (a casual viewer) find that I learn so much from her. She points out the little things a skater does which contribute to losing or gaining points and examples of excellence. Kurt Browning is another commentator I enjoy listening to.

Mathman
07-03-2012, 01:39 PM
I don't think these types of articles are written about judging systems. They're not "anti-IJS" articles so much as they are "what happened to skating? It was über popular and now it's in the crapper" articles and cop just keeps coming up as a reason why fans left in droves. Had skating become more popular, believe me, there'd be plenty of pro-IJS articles.

Good point indeed. A decade ago figure skating was popular. Now it isn't. What changed?


Anything written by PJ Kwong is pro-IJS in the sense that is pro-FS.

I think it is possible to like and support figure skating but also to have reservations about the ISU's current scoring system.

Vagabond
07-03-2012, 02:51 PM
Urmanov? :confused:

Fixed.

Kinda like scoring under 6.0, no? :P

attyfan
07-03-2012, 04:19 PM
I think it is a little sad that the dispute over the judging system overshadows some genuine concerns about the ISU. IMO, it doesn't say a lot for the ISU's interest in figure skating if the chief alternative to extending $peedy's reign was electing the French guy connected to the SLC scandal. However, this problem is something separate and distinct from the merits (or lack thereof) of the IJS vs. 6.0 debate.

alilou
07-03-2012, 05:13 PM
Anything written by PJ Kwong is pro-IJS in the sense that is pro-FS. She's involved in the sport and loves it, and she is the kind of commentator that breathes life into FS, rather than death - like Friedlander or Bianchetti. Those two may believe that FS is dying, but they appear very eager to put the last nail in the coffin.
And not just PJ. I would say it's generally true that since the introduction of IJS Canadian commentaters (Tracy Wilson, Kurt, etc) have gone out of their way to support and explain the system, while US commentators generally hated it, didn't understand it, didn't do their homework, and generally trashed it. Way to attract people to the sport! Ever since the introduction of IJS I watched everything on Cdn TV and almost everything on US TV. It is only in more recent times that US TV has started using commentators who understood the system and could explain effectively. The first few years the anti-IJS commentary on US TV was dire (think Scott Hamilton and Dick Button). Talk about turning off casual viewers, and even more committed viewers. Sorry if this sounds like an anti US rant. It is not intended as that at all. It's just that I was very much aware during the first several years of IJS, as I flipped back and forth between Cdn and US coverage, of how anti IJS the US commentators were. And it would make me so angry since I think it was part of their job to nurture viewers, not just to the sport, but to the network that was paying their salaries. And that it was part of their job to learn and explain the new system.

Another thing is I think, due to the past cheating, there is still a pretty cemented view in the general public that the results are fixed and nobody wants to watch a sport where the results are fixed. And that changing the judging system was just to allow the judges to get away with more cheating without being caught. I don't know why I think this, and I could be way off the mark, but I also think this general view is held more in the US than Canada.

minignome
07-03-2012, 07:48 PM
And not just PJ. I would say it's generally true that since the introduction of IJS Canadian commentaters (Tracy Wilson, Kurt, etc) have gone out of their way to support and explain the system, while US commentators generally hated it, didn't understand it, didn't do their homework, and generally trashed it. Way to attract people to the sport!

Agree. The few times that US has mentioned the judging system all they say is "it's complicated".

I really don't see what would be so dang hard about getting the skaters planned list of elements, and figuring out the base value of the program. Then for at least the Technical score, you could have an idea of how the skater did compared to what they planned to do. Then if the score given is significantly lower than the base, it could be explained as -- they had planned 7 triples, they only did 5, the landing on one of them was wonky, so had a negative grade of execution, blah, blah, blah. This would also give the viewer an idea ahead of time whose program is more difficult. Thus, if they skate about the same, the more difficult program is likely to win (at least the technical). Or you could figure out if skater A's base score is 10 points higher than skater B's then it makes sense that skater A could have a few mistakes and still come out ahead.

Aussie Willy
07-03-2012, 11:04 PM
And not just PJ. I would say it's generally true that since the introduction of IJS Canadian commentaters (Tracy Wilson, Kurt, etc) have gone out of their way to support and explain the system, while US commentators generally hated it, didn't understand it, didn't do their homework, and generally trashed it. Way to attract people to the sport! Ever since the introduction of IJS I watched everything on Cdn TV and almost everything on US TV. It is only in more recent times that US TV has started using commentators who understood the system and could explain effectively. The first few years the anti-IJS commentary on US TV was dire (think Scott Hamilton and Dick Button). Talk about turning off casual viewers, and even more committed viewers. Sorry if this sounds like an anti US rant. It is not intended as that at all. It's just that I was very much aware during the first several years of IJS, as I flipped back and forth between Cdn and US coverage, of how anti IJS the US commentators were. And it would make me so angry since I think it was part of their job to nurture viewers, not just to the sport, but to the network that was paying their salaries. And that it was part of their job to learn and explain the new system.
I really like your analysis here and it makes a lot of sense. I think the issues of declining interest in skating always seems to come back to the US and then that is the benchmark for the sport overall. Doesn't matter about countries like Japan where it always seems to be very popular, no matter what. Many of the pros seem to be heading to Asia where there appears to be a lot of shows. Also I would ask what is the perception in Europe.


Another thing is I think, due to the past cheating, there is still a pretty cemented view in the general public that the results are fixed and nobody wants to watch a sport where the results are fixed. And that changing the judging system was just to allow the judges to get away with more cheating without being caught. I don't know why I think this, and I could be way off the mark, but I also think this general view is held more in the US than Canada.
I think you are pretty smack bang on the mark. The perception out there was the introduction of IJS was to fix the problem of cheating. I don't think people consider that maybe it was time for a change in the way the sport was judged. Scandals like SLC were just the catalyst and reason for bringing in something else. And people also tend to look on reactive behaviour negatively rather than positively.

However I will never change my belief that it doesn't matter what system you introduce, you will never please everyone and many people will find something to complain about.

kwanfan1818
07-04-2012, 01:45 AM
I really like your analysis here and it makes a lot of sense. I think the issues of declining interest in skating always seems to come back to the US and then that is the benchmark for the sport overall. Doesn't matter about countries like Japan where it always seems to be very popular, no matter what. Many of the pros seem to be heading to Asia where there appears to be a lot of shows. Also I would ask what is the perception in Europe.

I think the issue is that no matter how popular skating is in Russia or Europe or Asia, the TV networks aren't throwing the $$$ to the ISU like the US networks did in the financial heyday.

Mathman
07-04-2012, 01:52 AM
I wonder if the big figure skating boom in Japan has just about run its course.

kittyjake5
07-04-2012, 01:04 PM
I would not blame the US commentators for the delcine in FS in the US, yes maybe they do not explain the system to the audience but if they did can we really say that FS would become popular again.

I am curious about the Japanese or Russian commentators. Two countries where figure skating is very popular, especially, Japan. Do their commentators explain the judging system to the audience? If they do, is that what the sport is so popular? I don't think so. Maybe our Russian and Japanese speaking members can weigh in and let us know what the commentators comment on during competition in their countries.

My point is IMO commentating about the judging system is not going to make the sport popular in the US or any other country. Also a lot of folks tune in for the entertainment aspect only of the skating and don't listen to what is being said by the commentators other than who will be skating next.

Nomad
07-04-2012, 03:10 PM
I would not blame the US commentators for the delcine in FS in the US, yes maybe they do not explain the system to the audience but if they did can we really say that FS would become popular again.

........

My point is IMO commentating about the judging system is not going to make the sport popular in the US or any other country. Also a lot of folks tune in for the entertainment aspect only of the skating and don't listen to what is being said by the commentators other than who will be skating next.

My feeling is that US commentators like Scott & Co. do not help FS by repeating over and over and over that the "new judging system" (it's not "new" anymore! it's practically a decade old!) is so arcane and byzantine and mysterious, only a PhD in Math could figure it out, etc. That's BS and they need to stop perpetuating that myth. When we watched the Olympics, I told my tween nieces what great, good, and okay scores were likely to be. They got it, although I did have to do some explaining why some clean performance which they enjoyed earned fewer points than others which they liked less.

professordeb
07-04-2012, 03:17 PM
I would not blame the US commentators for the delcine in FS in the US, yes maybe they do not explain the system to the audience but if they did can we really say that FS would become popular again.

I am curious about the Japanese or Russian commentators. Two countries where figure skating is very popular, especially, Japan. Do their commentators explain the judging system to the audience? If they do, is that what the sport is so popular? I don't think so. Maybe our Russian and Japanese speaking members can weigh in and let us know what the commentators comment on during competition in their countries.

My point is IMO commentating about the judging system is not going to make the sport popular in the US or any other country. Also a lot of folks tune in for the entertainment aspect only of the skating and don't listen to what is being said by the commentators other than who will be skating next.

Commenting by the judges may not make a sport more popular but I believe it sure can turn off the casual viewer. When you make next to no effort to explain why one skater got better marks than the other, when you use "how it made me feel" as criteria you are, IMO, being lazy. Some viewers want to understand why Skater A with two falls beat Skater B with no falls. Back in the 6.0 days, announcers at least sometimes attempted to explain why A beat B -- at least on the U.S. channel that I watched back in the day. Now, it's too haaaaaaaarrrrrd and complicated to explain, apparently. Really, I mean really? Do the US broadcasting stations really think so little of viewers that they believe they can't educate & entertain? Sesame Street anyone?

Count me in as one Canadian who prefers to watch figure skating on Canadian stations where they have people doing the announcing who take time and effort to explain the system. Visual person that I am, explaining things with the written word doesn't always cut it for me so when someone like Tracy or Kurt of PJ take the time to explain the difference between a level 4 footwork and a level 3 with video, not only do I appreciate such but it makes me a slightly more knowledgeable viewer. It also makes me less like to cry "wuzrobbed" unlike back in the 6.0 days when I felt "wuzrobbed" any time my favourite didn't win. :lol:

This "writer" has an axe to grind, I get that, but saying there was scandal in 2012 World Championship? Really? She lost any credibility she might have garnered from me at the beginning of her piece by going off on a tangent -- essentially whining that she didn't like who won and using the criteria of what "wowed" the audience as the barometer on which someone should win. If that were to always be the case, then a lot of winners even back in 6.0 days would be giving back their gold medals.

alilou
07-04-2012, 03:41 PM
I'd just like to clarify, and should have said it in my first post - I don't think the negative TV commentary in the US is to blame for the decline of popularity in the US. I do think it is a significant contributing factor. Other factors probably include - cheating judges as I already mentioned, greatly fragmented media/entertainment market, economy (far fewer $ to spend on entertainment coupled by low cost entertainment to be found on the net/video games etc), and it's just not what young people are interested in. At least that's the impression I get. They're interested in the net, texting, Facebook, video games, hanging out, etc etc. There's nothing wrong with that, but figure skating must seem so arcane to them. I could be way off the mark here. I'm "older", shall we say :lol: so what do I know.

judiz
07-04-2012, 04:36 PM
Maybe if the scoring system in skating was more like the scoring system in gymnastics, the gymnast starts out with a set score based on difficulty of routine. Judges then deduct for mistakes and elements not performed correctly, no extra GOE to confuse people.